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Delta increasing Diamond MQD Waiver to $250,000

Old Sep 26, 2017, 2:09 pm
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Last edit by: Renes Points
On 26SEPT17 Delta changed the MQD AMEX exempt requirements. $25,000 only exempts you to Platinum or lower. $250,000 spend needed across ALL the DL AMEX cards you hold (personal and business in your name) for Diamond exemption for 2019 elite year.

If all you are interested in is the discussion starting when the announcement occurred on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, start here.

The Delta announcement is here https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/skymiles/news-and-updates.html

There are many data points that Delta will allow a one time exception under the 2017 qualification rules if you request this for the 2019 Medallion year.
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Delta increasing Diamond MQD Waiver to $250,000

Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:26 pm
  #811  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Upper Sternistan
Posts: 9,911
Originally Posted by keitherson
You can easily meet 15k spend on just economy fares flying 125k miles. Even on low fare classes!
Sure, you can. But would you do it just to get over the threshold? Seems crazy to me. Buy the cheaper fares and just buy up when you care.
josephstern is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:28 pm
  #812  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: midwest
Programs: DL PM, Marriott Gold
Posts: 920
Originally Posted by TheMadBrewer
...
...

It looks like C+ is going away on long haul, with the new PE cabin. Will be a few years before it is on TATL routes but that is coming.

Looks like I'll have to decide whether it is worthwhile to keep the spend on a downgraded DL Amex (no longer will need the MQM boosts) to keep PM or just drop it altogether drop to GM (which would also let me try out other airlines)
I'm watching closely on this. I do the AMEX dance to be PM for (so far) access to C+ right after booking. I am torn about P.E. I think Dl has gone a bit cheap on the PE install. 2-4-2 is more E than P in an A350, frankly. I'm sure their numbers tell them this is best. I'd be OK with that in a 777 - which is also coming.

Anyway, we already have 777s doing MSP-CDG, and this winter we'll have them on some MSP-AMS flights. If that sticks after conversion to PE, I'd have reduced access to C+ on TATL. In which case I'm out of the PM race.

I'll book the most price and schedule competitive PE to Europe, and just fly WN for >2.5 hour local US segments, and whoever is best value for longer domestic, and use my best cash back card for shopping.

I would think Delta may expect some of this, but do they know how many will bail? And do we know how many of us who are in some stage of 'fed up' will actually bolt?

We'll see!!!
RaflW is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:29 pm
  #813  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: west coast best coast
Programs: TINDER GOLD, STARBUCKS GOLD, COSTCO EXECUTIVE!!
Posts: 3,984
Originally Posted by josephstern
Sure, you can. But would you do it just to get over the threshold? Seems crazy to me. Buy the cheaper fares and just buy up when you care.
Exactly. The waiver was just encouraging people to fly cheap fares and then just meet the MQD waiver by doing CC spend. This was not a profitable situation for Delta.

There's a reason why AA decided not to have a waiver.
keitherson is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:29 pm
  #814  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pleasant Prairie, WI USA DL FO (until 2/04), NW silver '03, NW gold '04+'05 Plat '06+ (thanks, Leo!), DL SkyClub
Programs: DL Plat/ Million Miler, AS, Hilton, Marriott Bonvoy, Piggly Wiggly Pig Points
Posts: 2,233
Originally Posted by josephstern
Sure, you can. But would you do it just to get over the threshold? Seems crazy to me. Buy the cheaper fares and just buy up when you care.
Fly Spirit and pay the $40 for the big front seat and maybe $20 for carryon food and onboard drinks?
Dick Ginkowski is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:32 pm
  #815  
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Programs: DL Scattered Smothered Covered Medallion, Some hotel & car stuff, Kroger Plus Card
Posts: 10,730
Originally Posted by kishkash
Maybe this is just me, but...I suppose I feel a little bit like a weirdo outsider for only ever getting DM based on the MQD requirement and not the waiver.

Zero judgment, of course, just sort of an eye-opening thread here for me. Now I'm curious about seeing how these changes will feel on the ground and in the air.
Remember that FT is a very thin, very skewed slice of the overall population.

What you see on FT is very much NOT a good representation of the much broader reality that exists in the world, and in fact it's like that the FT population is over-representative of the types of people DL is trying to discourage as customers (low fare, high mile pax who think hard about how to maximize every last benefit to its fullest possible potential).

There's nothing wrong with trying to maximize benefits, but airlines almost certainly bank on the vast majority of people not putting in the effort in the way FTers do.
gooselee is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:33 pm
  #816  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: San Jose, CA USA
Posts: 1,783
For me, as a SF Bay Area guy who had over 2.1eqm's on UA and went to DL because of quality problems, I will be heading back to UA. I have beaten the spend most years without the AMEX waiver, but my wife (who makes he DM too usually) needs the AMEX waiver.

I've piled up enough medallion miles (with rollover) to end the year with 290,000, counting on rolling over to easily get the DM status for the next year. So I will be under definite pressure to pay the $15K of flying. Wife just can't do it.

If I had known this I would have given those miles to UA. For the record, my spend was $27,000 in 2016 and will be $22,000 at the end of $2017

We both could have been lifetime 1K on UA if we hadn't shifted over to DL 2-3 yrs ago, but who can predict what these airlines do? I have 2.5 million regular DM miles to burn, and wife has 2M. We'll just go about burning them as needed

A tough business move on DL's part, but it has pissed off enough flyers, who do provide revenue that will alternatively go elsewhere, that it will affect inflow cash dynamics. When you piss off customers enough, they will consider going elsewhere and walk with their feet. I'm one.

Now as long as UA and AA don't do something as stupid, I will stick with them. A quantum change on the AMEX waiver sticks out as an unnecessary change. Is the waiver amount any different for the lower status-es? It would appear not.
FullFare is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:36 pm
  #817  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: DL PM, 1MM, DL SC, Kimpton Inner Circle
Posts: 2,416
Originally Posted by GRALISTAIR
Full disclosure - for selfish reasons I am glad. I easy make the MQD
^
KevinDTW is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:37 pm
  #818  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by FullFare

...Now as long as UA and AA don't do something as stupid...
LOL
gablackburn is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:38 pm
  #819  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Upper Sternistan
Posts: 9,911
Originally Posted by FullFare
...
I've piled up enough medallion miles (with rollover) to end the year with 290,000, counting on rolling over to easily get the DM status for the next year. So I will be under definite pressure to pay the $15K of flying. Wife just can't do it.
...
I am wondering how people feel about the rollover miles at this point. We all accumulated them under one set of rules and expectations, and now that's changing. But it's not unlike devaluations of redeemable miles.

I have enough rollover MQM to get Diamond next year already also, but I'm not sure if I'll chase the $250K or just be very happy with Platinum. Frankly, while I do like Diamond, the most valuable feature for me is the ability to book speculative mile-redemption tickets without penalty, and I'll have that for years if I stick with Platinum (and if there are no changes to the system).
josephstern is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:48 pm
  #820  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 129
Originally Posted by Dick Ginkowski
Uh, no. And you didn't read the post very carefully.

Fewer and more crowded flight options and higher fares. When flights are crowded it is more uncomfortable, yes, but also more difficult to accommodate irregular operations such as cancellations. I never said or implied that flights should operate at 50% capacity.
Personally I love it. It never sat well with me that I spend $25-$30k every year on J and Z fares and still barely hit DM in MQMs (roughly 145k a year). My company does not allow me to use AMEX. So it felt as though I was being punished by Delta as I watched guys with AMEX cheap out on real MQDs because they spent $25,000 on Snicker's bars (in theory...could be on anything).

Now if they could just thin the herd at the Skyclubs.... JFK T4 has been so overcrowded of late I've taken to just finding an empty gate.
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hdtv4me is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:50 pm
  #821  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: CONUS
Posts: 947
For SEA based it really makes AS more and more attractive. I don't like AS, grossly overrated and never understood the love affair. I guess I'll find out.

I don't doubt DL knows exactly what it's doing but in my little corner of the world, they continue to make themselves less attractive via Sh*tMiles. This is one of the bigger degrades.
n7371f is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:53 pm
  #822  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Treasure Coast, FL
Programs: DL Diamond, Marriott LT Plat, HH Diamond, Avis Preferred Plus, National Executive
Posts: 4,577
Originally Posted by Wynterwynd
I got the email notice today. Bummed. Spoiled.
Spoiled? By Delta?
LOL
apodo77 is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:53 pm
  #823  
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Join Date: May 2008
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Programs: Delta DM 1 MM; Hz PC
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Originally Posted by josephstern
I am wondering how people feel about the rollover miles at this point.
Brilliant is how I feel. To me, the hard bit is flying 125K miles. Just now and again when I fly back to England to see my mother etc, I pay $3-4k for a Z fare or similar. That is far easier and less stressful than flying all the miles.

If someone earned them in the past under the old rules and now have say 750 K MQMs - then they can be DM for the next 6 years - just spend 15k on DL each year. It really is that simple and I do not blame DL one bit - it was the right move. And BTW Platinum is not bad status - so you can still get that each year with AMEX spend - it is just DM that has changed - an eminently sensible decision from Delta.
GRALISTAIR is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:54 pm
  #824  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: LAX
Programs: Fallen DL DM (PM) 2MM
Posts: 4,783
Originally Posted by rwoman
No email. Presumably because I've got a foreign address.
Interesting. I guess low MQD DMs with a foreign address are the lucky ones here (not talking about you specifically)

I was joking last fall about moving to YVR - still joking but another incentive

(And I am dual US/Canadian citizen so that is not the stopper)
TheMadBrewer is offline  
Old Sep 26, 2017, 1:58 pm
  #825  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SLC
Programs: DL PM, Hilton/Marriott Gold
Posts: 971
Originally Posted by gooselee
Remember that FT is a very thin, very skewed slice of the overall population.

What you see on FT is very much NOT a good representation of the much broader reality that exists in the world, and in fact it's like that the FT population is over-representative of the types of people DL is trying to discourage as customers (low fare, high mile pax who think hard about how to maximize every last benefit to its fullest possible potential).

There's nothing wrong with trying to maximize benefits, but airlines almost certainly bank on the vast majority of people not putting in the effort in the way FTers do.
I agree that FT is not representative, but the proliferation of Points/CC bloggers mean that the FT approach to travel has been opened up to the "masses" (those who don't know or care enough to wade through thousands of posts, or provide contributions to the community). I don't know if that alone is responsible for the uptick in program restrictions/devaluations/changes, but I'm inclined to think FT'ers "gaming" the system was a rounding error for loyalty programs before. Now that every FT trick is spread all over Facebook and Twitter in the form of easily-shared blog posts, airlines are getting great market research handed to them on a silver platter.

They don't need to dig into booking data or multi-year trends to identify inefficiencies in their loyalty programs, they just look at the latest TPG/OMAAT posts and tweak accordingly. And judging by the hysterics in those blog comment sections, Delta scored a direct hit on the customer segments they *don't* want.
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